Types of Flan From Around the World

Types of Flan

Flan lovers unite!

If this is one of your favorite desserts, you’re not alone.

In fact, it’s so widespread that there are different types of flan in almost every corner of the globe.

We’ve put together the most comprehensive list of them you’ll find anywhere so if you’re a flan lover and are wondering how it’s prepared from one country to another, then you’ll love what we’ve got in store for you!

Argentinian Flan (Flan Mixto)

Flan is a staple dessert is the country of Argentina is available almost anywhere you go – from restaurants to supermarkets. Most of the time, it’s packaged in yogurt-like containers which makes it easy to eat on the go.

What distinguishes it from some other types is the use of dulce de leche as a topping whereas caramel is normally used.

Ingredients in Argentinian Flan (Flan Mixto) include sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla extract and dulce de leche.

Brazilian (Portuguese) Flan (Pudim de Leite Condensado)

Legend has it that the Brazilian version of flan was created by an abbot.

The holy man went by the name of Pudim de Priscos and his original version contained the ingredients most of us associate with flan today. Things like egg yolks, sugar and water were used but also had a couple of secret additions that made it a smash hit – Port wine and lard!

While the wine and pork are a thing of the past, Portuguese flan still has a couple of things that make it different including the inclusion of sweetened condensed milk and the use of a bundt cake pan.

Ingredients in Brazilian (Portuguese) Flan (Pudim de Leite Condensado) include sugar, water, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, eggs and vanilla extract (optional).

Chilean Flan (Leche Asada or Chilean Roasted Milk)

The Chileans have put their own spin on this version of flan by altering the preparation method used. Most flan recipes call for the use of a water bath or bain-marie, but their version is baked in the oven instead.

The result is a much darker and denser flan than you’ve probably had before.

Ingredients in Chilean Flan (Leche Asada or Chilean Roasted Milk) include sugar, water, whole milk, eggs and dulce de leche. 

Chinese Flan (Chinese Steamed Flan)

The Chinese took the delicate creaminess that flan is known for to another level with their steamed (bain-marie) version. In addition, it’s served in the form of small bars as opposed to the circular shape present in most flan recipes.

What distinguishes Chinese flan is not only the steam cooking method but the usage of a greater amount of egg yolks. After the flan has been steamed and cooled, the result is an incredibly soft and delicious dessert.

Ingredients Chinese Flan (Chinese Steamed Flan) include sugar, water, whole milk, eggs and vanilla bean.

Colombian Flan (Flan de Leche)

When it comes to experimenting with different flan flavors, perhaps no one does it quite like Colombians. Besides the traditional flan, they have versions made with pineapple and coffee but another type known as Coconut Flan (Flan de Coco) is beloved along the coastal regions of the country.

Ingredients in Colombian Flan (Flan de Leche) include sugar, water, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract and/or coconut flakes for Flan de Coco.

Cuban Flan (Flan Cubano)

For many, the Cuban version of flan is their favorite but the reason the flavor is so beloved came about not out of experimentation but out of necessity. 

Food shortages have been commonplace in Cuba and so not wanting to give up their favorite dessert, creativity took over. Fresh dairy products can be hard to come by so not knowing when, or if, they’d run out, Cubans instead began making their flan with canned milk – both condensed and evaporated.

The result?

A simply decadent version of flan that is said by many to be thickest and creamiest anywhere in the world.

Ingredients in Cuban Flan (Flan Cubano) include sugar, canned condensed milk, canned evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla extract.

Filipino Flan (Filipino Creme Caramel)

Similar to Cuban flan, Filipino flan also makes use of the creamy combination of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. The combination of those ingredients alone is enough to make it creamy and rich but it’s the use of the bain-marie, or water bath that makes it truly delicious.

It’s traditionally prepared in ramekins or in a shallow pans before being cut into squares and served.

Ingredients in Filipino Flan (Filipino Creme Caramel) include sugar, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk.

French Flan (Parisian Flan or French Custard Pie)

At first glance, French flan looks nothing like the wobbly, tasty treat we know and love. In contrast, the French version is a tart which is filled with a custard that has been made stiff with the addition of flour.

But just because it doesn’t look the same, doesn’t mean it isn’t every bit as delicious as anyone who’s ever tried it will tell you.

Ingredients in French Flan (Parisian Flan or French Custard Pie) include flour, butter, powdered sugar, castor sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, water, milk, heavy cream and vanilla bean.

German Flan (Obsttorte or Obstboden)

Similar to French flan, German flan is very dissimilar to what we would normally associate with the dessert. But where French flan still incorporates custard in the dessert, German flan does not.

In fact, it’s not flan at all but rather a rimmed sponge cake. Usually lemon flavored, it’s designed to hold fruit.

Ingredients in German Flan (Obsttorte or Obstboden) include egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, baking powder, cornstarch and fruit topping of choice.

Japanese Flan (Purin or Japanese Custard Pudding)

The Japanese have a custard that is very similar to other varieties of flan but instead of using evaporated or condensed milk, it uses whole milk instead. The result is a dessert that’s not quite as firm as traditional flan but is scrumptious nonetheless.

Ingredients in Japanese Flan (Purin or Japanese Custard Pudding) include sugar, water, eggs, whole milk and vanilla extract.

Mexican Flan (Flan Mexicano)

For many people, their first introduction to flan is at their favorite Mexican restaurant and for good reason. Flan is easily one of the country’s most popular desserts and is available virtually everywhere.

For the most part, the ingredients in Mexican flan are similar to other kinds however, the preparation method varies. After the custard and caramel have been prepared, the ingredients are added to a special pan. The pan is called a flanera and is what holds the mixture as it bakes in the water bath.

Ingredients in Mexican Flan (Flan Mexicano) include sugar, water, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.

Peruvian Flan (Crema Volteada)

Peruvians are known for having some of the most decadent flan anywhere in the world so it’s no wonder that it’s sold all over the entire country – from bakeries to supermarkets to street vendors and everywhere in between.

What gives it such a rich flavor is the use of evaporated milk and condensed milk as opposed to most flan recipes that incorporate whole milk into the recipe.

Ingredients in Peruvian Flan (Crema Volteada) include sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.

Puerto Rican Flan (Flan de Queso)

Puerto Rican flan really should be in a category all its own. Some have described it as what might happen if flan and cheesecake got together and had a child.

No matter the analogy, the decadence of this dessert is beyond compare.

It combines all the ingredients that give flan its signature smooth mouthfeel but with the slightly sweet tang of cream cheese underneath a syrupy layer of caramel.

Ingredients in Puerto Rican Flan (Flan de Queso) include sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream cheese and vanilla extract.

Venezuelan Flan (Quesillo)

The Venezuelan version of traditional flan is mostly similar but with one key difference that is what gives it the name. Most flan recipes call for the use of whole eggs with the addition of additional yolks whereas quesillo only uses whole eggs.

The result is both a difference in texture and appearance. Flan typically has a smooth, custard mouthfeel but quesillo has a noticeable spongelike texture to it, almost like cheese even though it contains no cheese whatsoever!

Ingredients in Venezuelan Flan (Quesillo) include sugar, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and vanilla extract.

Vietnamese Flan (Banh Flan or Vietnamese Creme Caramel)

Since being imported from Europe, flan in Vietnam has undergone changes that give it a distinctive local flair. Most notably is the addition of lemon or lime juice and a somewhat bitter caramel coating. However, the bitter and sour notes balance out the sweetness inherent in the custard making a truly exotic and unique creation.

Last, condensed milk is sometimes used instead of whole milk and some variations of Banh flan may also feature toppings like coffee drizzles.

Ingredients in Vietnamese Flan (Banh Flan or Vietnamese Creme Caramel) include sugar, water, eggs, lemon or lime juice, whole milk (or condensed) and vanilla extract.

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